I have found the perfect follow-up piece to my earlier entry on death. It is an essay written by a new nurse after watching a patient die suddenly. The author, Theresa Brown, writes:
Often at work in the hospital I hear John Donne in my head:
Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so.
But after my [experience with this patient] I find his words empty. My patient died looking like one of the flesh-eating zombies from “28 Weeks Later,” and indeed in real life, even in the world of the hospital, a death like this is unsettling.
What can one do? Go home, love your children, try not to bicker, eat well, walk in the rain, feel the sun on your face and laugh loud and often, as much as possible, and especially at yourself. Because the only antidote to death is not poetry, or drama, or miracle drugs, or a roomful of technical expertise and good intentions. The antidote to death is life.